Accusing the NDA government of not representing the rights of the backward classes well in the Supreme Court, the Congress on Wednesday demanded that a review of the judgment of the Supreme Court that protects public servants and private employees from arbitrary arrests under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The apex court on Tuesday diluted its stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act in a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bonafide duties from being blackmailed with false cases.
Claiming that the judgment “diluted” the provisions of the SC/ST Act, the Congress said that if need be, the Act may be amended to restore the “security cover” provided to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Demanding that the government should clarify its stand on the issue, Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said there was a “sense of insecurity” among Dalits and other oppressed classes after the apex court verdict.
“There is serious concern over yesterday’s (March 20) decision of the Supreme Court. If it is not reviewed, it will be very unfortunate. There is a feeling on insecurity among the SC/STs and other oppressed classes. We feel there should be a review of this decision which will be in national interest.
“Why is the government silent on this issue. Government should clarify its stand and should present its version before the Supreme Court through the Attorney General. If the government remains silent, it means that the government supports the decision,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, party MP Kumari Selja alleged that the development was a result of the BJP-RSS conspiracy “to end reservation.”
In a tweet, Congress president Rahul Gandhi also said: “The SC/ST Act is the most important instrument to prevent atrocities on Dalits/Adivasis. A complicit Modi Govt failed to defend it in the Supreme Court. The PM must not abdicate his duty in favour of the anti-Dalit mindset of the BJP/RSS.”
Blaming the Centre and the Maharashtra government —which were a party on the issue in the case — for not presenting their case properly, Congress communications in-charge Randeep Sujewala asked: “Should we abolish laws if we find that they may be misused? Aren’t there cases wherein a murder charge not proved? Or an attempt to murder charge fails to be proved? Does that mean we should do away with laws involving those crimes?”